Russia’s Sanctions List: The Hottest List in Washington?

The U.S. officials now being sanctioned by Russia aren’t bumming out. They’re actually pretty thrilled.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin chairs a government meeting in his Novo-Ogaryovo residence, outside Moscow on March 5, 2014.
National Journal
Sara Sorcher
See more stories about...
Sara Sorcher
March 20, 2014, 8:28 a.m.

Not to be out­done, Rus­si­an Pres­id­ent Vladi­mir Putin is strik­ing back at the U.S. with his own sanc­tions against Amer­ic­an of­fi­cials, just mo­ments after Pres­id­ent Obama an­nounced ex­pan­ded sanc­tions on Rus­sia.

Rus­sia’s fin­an­cial hit list tar­gets a hand­ful of seni­or White House of­fi­cials, such as seni­or ad­viser Daniel Pfeif­fer and deputy na­tion­al se­cur­ity ad­visers Ben Rhodes and Car­oline Atkin­son.

The list, on Rus­sia’s Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs web­site, also in­cludes key mem­bers of Con­gress, such as Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Harry Re­id; House Speak­er John Boehner; Sen­ate For­eign Re­la­tions Com­mit­tee Chair­man Robert Men­en­dez; and Sen. John Mc­Cain, who just re­turned from a trip to Ukraine.

The U.S. of­fi­cials on the list are now barred from en­ter­ing Rus­sia — but they don’t seem to be too con­cerned about it. In fact, the of­fi­cials ap­peared pretty pleased to be caught up in this high-stakes dip­lo­mat­ic tit-for-tat.

“The speak­er is proud to be in­cluded on a list of those will­ing to stand against Putin’s ag­gres­sion,” Boehner spokes­man Mi­chael Steel said.

An­oth­er Boehner spokes­man, Brendan Buck, tweeted to Pfeif­fer a one-word missive after the news broke: Con­grat­u­la­tions. 

On a more sober note, Men­en­dez used the news of his sanc­tion­ing to con­demn Putin. “Pres­id­ent Putin’s mil­it­ary in­va­sion and an­nex­a­tion of Crimea is bru­tal, totally un­ac­cept­able, and sadly re­turns us to a peri­od of Cold War ag­gres­sion and hos­til­ity,” he said in a state­ment. “It doesn’t have to be this way, but if stand­ing up for the Ukrain­i­an people, their free­dom, their hard-earned demo­cracy, and sov­er­eignty means I’m sanc­tioned by Putin, so be it.”

And Mc­Cain, amid ru­mors Rus­sia’s sanc­tions list would come soon, told the Daily Beast this week he “would be honored” to be on that list.

“I guess this means my spring break in Siber­ia is off, my Gazprom stock is lost, and my secret bank ac­count in Mo­scow is frozen,” Mc­Cain said in a state­ment after the sanc­tions list was an­nounced. “Non­ethe­less, I will nev­er cease my ef­forts on be­half of the free­dom, in­de­pend­ence, and ter­rit­ori­al in­teg­rity of Ukraine, in­clud­ing Crimea.” 

Re­id, for his part, seems to have in­ven­ted his own hasht­ag in a tweet ad­dressed to the Rus­si­an lead­er: “Pres­id­ent Putin, it’s one thing to pick on me, but I wouldn’t mess with Mary. @Sen­Land­rieu #Sanc­tioned­By­Putin.” Re­id was re­fer­ring to Sen. Mary Landrieu, who was also on the sanc­tions list, pre­sum­ably be­cause of her past cri­ti­cism of Rus­sia for bar­ring Amer­ic­an ad­op­tions of Rus­si­an chil­dren. 

{{ BIZOBJ (video: 4828) }}

Obama, speak­ing from the White House on Thursday, an­nounced a raft of new sanc­tions to ramp up the eco­nom­ic pres­sure on Rus­sia after it vi­ol­ated in­ter­na­tion­al law to an­nex Crimea. The new sanc­tions will ap­ply to 20 seni­or mem­bers of the Rus­si­an gov­ern­ment and oth­er “cronies,” of­fi­cials said, and the St. Peters­burg-based Rossiya Bank will be “frozen out of the dol­lar.” The sanc­tions will also tar­get Rus­sia’s fin­an­cial ser­vices, en­ergy, min­ing, and en­gin­eer­ing sec­tors.

Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity Whip Dick Durbin was rumored to be on the list as well, and he wel­comed the pos­sib­il­ity. “My Lithuani­an-born moth­er would be proud her son made Vladi­mir Putin’s Amer­ic­an en­emies list,” Durbin said earli­er this week. Un­for­tu­nately for the sen­at­or, he didn’t make the cut. We’ve reached out to Durbin to see how he feels about be­ing left off the list.

What We're Following See More »
BACKING OUT ON BERNIE
Trump Won’t Debate Sanders After All
1 days ago
THE LATEST

Trump, in a statement: “Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher. ... I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be.”

AKNOWLEDGING THE INEVITABLE
UAW: Time to Unite Behind Hillary
2 days ago
THE DETAILS

"It's about time for unity," said UAW President Dennis Williams. "We're endorsing Hillary Clinton. She's gotten 3 million more votes than Bernie, a million more votes than Donald Trump. She's our nominee." He called Sanders "a great friend of the UAW" while saying Trump "does not support the economic security of UAW families." Some 28 percent of UAW members indicated their support for Trump in an internal survey.

Source:
AP KEEPING COUNT
Trump Clinches Enough Delegates for the Nomination
2 days ago
THE LATEST

"Donald Trump on Thursday reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and sets the stage for a bitter fall campaign. Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party's unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the convention."

Source:
TRUMP FLOATED IDEA ON JIMMY KIMMEL’S SHOW
Trump/Sanders Debate Before California Primary?
2 days ago
THE LATEST
CAMPAIGNS INJECTED NEW AD MONEY
California: It’s Not Over Yet
3 days ago
THE LATEST

"Clinton and Bernie Sanders "are now devoting additional money to television advertising. A day after Sanders announced a new ad buy of less than $2 million in the state, Clinton announced her own television campaign. Ads featuring actor Morgan Freeman as well as labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta will air beginning on Fridayin Fresno, Sacramento, and Los Angeles media markets. Some ads will also target Latino voters and Asian American voters. The total value of the buy is about six figures according to the Clinton campaign." Meanwhile, a new poll shows Sanders within the margin of error, trailing Clinton 44%-46%.

Source:
×